Systm #84: How To Rip and Encode DVDs
Want to play your video collection on any media extender, console or Apple TV? Step one is to get your movies off of the DVDs and onto your hard drive! Part 1 of our DIY Video Jukebox Series
For Mac owners checkout HandBrake.
For PC owners your choices are bit more varied. Along with the PC version of HandBrake, you can also use the AutoGK. It's a GUI front end for a several different open source video transcoding tools that let you harness their power without the tedious need to jump from one app to another each time. AutoGK is great especially for fans of DivX and Xvid encoding. Finally there's AutoMKV. Like AutoGK, AutoMKV is a GUI front end for various tools that are used. The benefit of AutoMKV is it's higher level of tweakability and output format diversity.
And if you run into unexpected problems VideoHelp.com offers a wealth of resources and advice for any video encoding, transcoding or formatting issue.